Ed Iacobucci was an IBM developer with a vision to create an operating system that provided multi-user support. When IBM didn’t bite, he took matters into his own hands and in 1989 established a company now known as Citrix Systems. Today, Citrix is a multinational corporation providing organizations with server and desktop virtualization, networking, software-as-a-service and cloud computing technologies, including the well known Xen. It is also a leading provider of professional IT certifications.
The promise of virtualization is access to applications anywhere, on any device. Citrix Systems’ Certified Administrator credential validates an IT professional’s expertise with products like XenDesktop and NetScaler for virtual computing enterprise solutions.
Citrix certifications could give IT pros a career edge
As of 2011, Citrix Systems served more than 230,000 organizations worldwide, and all of them need qualified information technology professionals capable of managing Citrix technologies. The company’s certifications ensure candidates have the experience necessary to plan, implement, manage and troubleshoot all types of Citrix products, a sought-after skill that gives them an edge in the job field. Citrix certifications can also improve overall earning potential. According to Global Knowledge’s 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report, the median salary for an IT pro with a Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) certification, one of Citrix’s most popular products, was a notable $83,653.
According to its website, Citrix offers three levels of certifications ranging from novice to expert: Administrator, Engineer and Architect. The following are among the company’s best known credentials by series.
Citrix Administrator Series Certifications
Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA): According to the Association for Computing Machinery, the CCA is an entry-level certification ideal for IT professionals whose networks employ Citrix virtualization technology, establishing their ability to implement, administer and troubleshoot a variety of Citrix products.
Citrix Certified Advanced Administrator (CCAA): The CCAA certification builds upon the skills established via CCA certification. The CCAA certification focuses on more advanced functions like the monitoring and optimization of Citrix products.
Citrix Engineer Series Certifications
Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE): As the only Engineer-level Citrix certification, the CCEE credential is designed for seasoned professionals who demonstrate that they can plan and implement multiple Citrix products into a comprehensive virtualization solution. Citrix notes that CCEE engineers can build optimal Citrix environments, ranging from desktops to data centers and private clouds, while keeping up with key industry trends and best practices.
Citrix Architect Series Certifications
Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA): The most advanced of all Citrix certifications, the CCIA credential proves that one can design and analyze comprehensive end-to-end virtualized environments using Citrix products and best practices.
Citrix CCA Certification Training
Virtual computing enterprise solutions are used by many types of institutions, from universities and business campuses to libraries and police departments. The Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) credential, offered by one of the leading vendors of virtualization solutions for enterprise networks, can help IT workers gain the necessary knowledge and skill to implement and administrate the virtual desktops of today and tomorrow.
CCA certification for user terminals
Citrix offers virtual computing solutions for end-user terminals as well as servers and networks. Here’s a list of CCA certification tracks for terminal-based solutions:
- XenDesktop 4
- XenDesktop 5
- XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2003
- XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2008
- XenApp 6
Citrix Certified Advanced Administrator (CCAA) certification can also be earned on the XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2008 track, bolstering the skill set gained during CCA certification.
CCA certification for servers
XenServer 5.6 serves as the lone server-based solution for which CCA certification is available. With the importance of server-side processing and centralized application delivery to an efficient virtual computing network, the skills gained by training to configure and manage a virtualization server can help professionals keep the foundation of their virtual networks running smoothly.
CCA certification for networks
Network-based training for CCA certification comes in three flavors:
- NetScaler 9: Professionals who train in NetScaler technology learn how to deploy and maintain load balancing and network optimization solutions that can ratchet up the overall efficiency of application servers and cloud-based services.
- Application Firewall 8: CCA certification in Citrix’s NetScaler Application Firewall allows personnel to ensure a high level of information security and intrusion prevention in an application delivery environment.
- Access Gateway 9 Enterprise Edition: Training in Access Gateway solutions allows professionals to confidently approach remote desktop and virtual private network SSL solutions in a wide range of implementation environments.
CCA certification and the job market
Computer and network system administrators are projected to see a healthy 23 percent increase in employment opportunities between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, in the 2011 IT Skills and Salary Report published by IT training firm, Global Knowledge, puts professionals who hold CCA certification at a reported a median annual salary of $80,000.
Any IT professional looking to break into the emerging world of application and desktop virtualization for the business enterprise would do well to look into CCA certification.